A friend was flying to do some construction work and wanted to take lithium batteries for his power tools. Unsure of the TSA regulations, he researched the website, spent an hour on hold to talk directly with a TSA representative, printed out the rules and size limits and was as prepared as he could be to get through airport security with five batteries and a charger.
That part of his luggage screened without issue. What tripped him up? A coconut!
In addition to the batteries, he was taking home a coconut mailed from World War II. Coconuts have husks and what is commonly known as a coconut is actually inside. TSA doesn’t like things that show up on their scanner “inside” something. The batteries went through once. The coconut four times (before it was allowed to fly.)
Think about other things in life that are like this – where we overprepare for what we expect to cause an issue and instead find difficulty with something that we never gave a second thought. We check the car’s tires before going on vacation but fail to fill the windshield washer fluid. We purchase hundreds of dollars of back-to-school supplies and forget the sandwich bags. We spend hours on a PowerPoint presentation and leave the clicker back in the office.
Yes, it’s wise to do your homework and prepare for the big things – but it’s often the little details that make you go (coco)nuts. Mind them as well.